A drone display shows a message of support for the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic in central Seoul. AFP
Hundreds of drones lit up the night sky in Seoul for a spectacular showcase of motivational and awareness messages as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic.
Three hundred unmanned aerial vehicles were programmed to form images above the Han river -- which runs through the South Korean capital -- for the eyecatching flash mob.
The show began with messages reminding people of key precautionary measures, including wearing masks, washing hands and keeping a two-metre distance from others.
The drones created images of a mask surrounded by coronavirus particles, quickly shuffling to form two hands and water droplets against the dark night sky.
The 10-minute show shifted to messages of gratitude for medical personnel in the frontlines of the pandemic as well as all South Koreans for their collective efforts.
"THANKS TO YOU," the drones wrote in the sky next to a heart shape, then formed a silhouette of the Korean peninsula with the message: "Cheer up, Republic of Korea."
The government-organised event on Saturday night was not advertised in advance in consideration of social distancing rules, the transport ministry said.
South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) announced additional 161 cases and 2 deaths on Monday, bringing the toll to 763 that puts the country third in the list of COVID-19 infected hotspots.
South Korea has seen a rapid rise in infections in recent days as authorities carry out checks on more than 260,000 people associated with the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a religious group often condemned as a cult that is linked to more than half the cases.
“Not only did the defendants refuse health inspection, the followers of the sect refused to comply with quarantine measures,” read the Seoul City press release on Sunday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on hand for the arrival of the inaugural flight after its nearly four-hour trip, called it "a moment of history." "As-salaam alaikum (Peace be upon you)," he said to arriving passengers. "Come again and again and again."
The Jordanian father of the child, Rakan, expressed his gratitude and thanks to the leadership, and its great interest in providing health and psychological care at the highest and most prestigious levels for those infected with COVID-19.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the girl took the drastic step after the mother refused to take her along to a wedding ceremony.